Friday, February 27, 2015

Monster by Walter Dean Myers


Monster by Walter Dean Myers

Review by Lauren

Source: copy from library; all opinions are my own

Official Summary: This New York Times bestselling novel and National Book Award nominee from acclaimed author Walter Dean Myers tells the story of Steve Harmon, a teenage boy in juvenile detention and on trial. Presented as a screenplay of Steve's own imagination, and peppered with journal entries, the book shows how one single decision can change our whole lives.

Fade In: Interior: Early Morning In Cell Block D, Manhattan Detention Center.

Steve (Voice-Over)
Sometimes I feel like I have walked into the middle of a movie. Maybe I can make my own movie. The film will be the story of my life. No, not my life, but of this experience. I'll call it what the lady prosecutor called me ... Monster.


Review: This was another book I chose to read for my young adult class. We were told to pick something by Walter Dean Myers, and I thought Monster looked quite good. This is a book that you could easily read in a day, or even a couple hours. It's written as a screenplay, Steve imagining his current situation as a movie he could tell, as well as journal entries here and there. This style was interesting and it made the book unique, as well as allowing the novel to stay at a fast pace.

Steve Harmon is a teenage boy who is now on trial for his life, along with another man, for being involved in a robbery where the owner was shot and killed by his own gun. Steve was supposedly the one who scoped out the store beforehand to make sure it was empty of customers before two other men robbed the place (one of which is James King, also on trial). It's fascinating to see how the justice system works and how the prosecution is willing to make deals with criminals and other people who admitted involvement in this crime in order to make sure someone is put in jail for the death of this store owner.

As readers, it's easy to feel sorry for Steve. You can see a young boy getting involved with the wrong crowd and finding himself in jail. It's easy to imagine, but Monster doesn't provide all the answers. You do get a verdict in the end, but a lot is still left in the air as to what you think about these characters. Definitely worth reading, and I could see a lot of reluctant readers enjoying this one.

11 comments:

Bec @ Readers in Wonderland said...

What an interesting way to write a story! I think I'd like to read this just to see how the screenplay translates. And also to learn the truth behind what went down.

Erika Sorocco said...

I have heard about this book for ages. While the premise sounds intriguing, I'm not sure if it's a book I would necessarily enjoy. :/

xx

Keertana said...

Myers is one of those authors that people just know, though they haven't read--much like myself. Still, I definitely want to read this and am glad you got so much out of it. Bumping it up my TBR for sure!

Kindlemom said...

This does sound like it has a unique set up and that it worked well for the story.

Great review!

Heidi Rainy Day Ramblings said...

This sounds like an eye opening think book. I like that part, but not a fan of the open endedness....

Alexia561 said...

Nice review! I like alternative storytelling and this one sounds interesting!

Terri @ Alexia's Books and Such...

Tanja - Tanychy said...

I have heard of this book and it seemed like an interesting read but I never got any time to read it. I'm glad you enjoyed it and I love the way it's written. Somehow it seems captivating to me. Great review :)

Kirsty-Marie Jones said...

The only one I can remember that you got to see the trial was Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas, it's always interesting to see how it translates on paper. :)

Michelle @ In Libris Veritas said...

I read this one in middle school and I don't remember it fondly. I did read it pretty quickly and it was a story I remember having trouble putting down, but I think I wasn't quite ready for some of the more graphic portions.

Claudia {Sparrowhawk} said...

I would be reluctant to pick something like this up, but it definitely would be one I would read in a group setting. Only because it would pose great discussions, and I love discussion weighty topics :D Great review Lauren!

haifa ruwaidah said...
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